I just wanted to warn folks about putting too much faith in the way some
couriers deliver expensive goods to you - like your brand new, very expensive
telescope mount. My AP900 just arrived - in two (unexpected) deliveries - what
a UPS fiasco!
I received a phone call from UPS at customs, that my 5 box AP shipment was
being cleared, and because it was over the UPS policy of goods exceeding $500
in declared value, UPS calls to see if you wanted to (optionally) "prepay your
C.O.D." by phone.
DO NOT DO THIS !
First, if you do anyway, phone them back locally, yourself, since you
can't be sure WHO is really calling you for your personal credit card number.
Second, if you prepay them the C.O.D., to save the small flat $4.68 (?)
fee, to save the card hassle later, the driver then has no reason to ring your
Unaware of this, I made that mistake.
On the Easter weekend, after being told that delivery would definitely NOT
be until AFTER the weekend, on Monday, and also previously confirmed by UPS
that they do NOT make deliveries on weekends, the "first" UPS driver showed up
Easter Saturday morning, and left just one of the five, AP900 boxes, on the
front porch, and quickly disappeared - no yellow tag saying it was a partial
delivery, no UPS paperwork on the carton of course (except for the label), the
UPS driver did NOT even have the courtesy of ringing the doorbell, while I was
home and having breakfast, to WARN me that my expensive package was sitting in
plain view on the front porch! What if I were out of town, visiting family at
Easter, or gone shopping, fully confident that, there would be no way the
shipment was to arrive before the agreed upon date?
Seems UPS "driver time" is much more valuable than my over $10,000 item, left
sitting on the porch!
Now wise to their careless or inept habits, I kept a lookout through the
window, for more of the 5 boxes in that one AP shipment, to arrive on Monday.
Sure enough, UPS driver #2 dropped the 4 remaining AP900 cartons, on the front
porch - and yes, once again, took off without ringing the doorbell.
Why should he - the C.O.D was already prepaid, so no reason to greet the
customer, and WARN him about the extremely expensive boxes piled on the front
I wonder how these two UPS drivers would feel if their car dealer, or car
repair mechanic, drop off their brand new car on the street in front of the
house, with the keys in the ignition, doors unlocked? A new Saturn vehicle
would come close to the cost of an AP900, in comparison.
If you use UPS "STANDARD" delivery - least expensive, 3 day delivery - the
package should only come on a weekday (unless UPS screws up, once again). All
the other, special, more expensive EXPRESS, etc. two day shipments, CAN be
delivered on a Saturday - mine was the STANDARD, but the UPS drivers are
easily confused, it seems. So, be careful about using these premium services -
which could come on a weekend.
Before I retired, I used to have a personal business policy of NEVER using
UPS because of their problematic performance, but I thought they had now
improved over the years. Well, it's now back to FEDEX, which I had always used
previously, and rarely (if ever) had any problems.
Bottom line: DO NOT prepay the C.O.D. - this FORCES the driver to ring
your doorbell to collect the credit card payment for the UPS service fee. If
he takes off before you can get to your front door - damn they're quick, in a
hurry - then they would NOT just leave your $10,000 packages sitting, in plain
public view, on the front porch! Besides, they would make two more agreed upon
delivery retries. Otherwise, you may have to reclaim your AP mount from the
The AP paperwork clearly states "Contact the consignee upon arrival of
shipment". Well, UPS did, from somewhere along the border, but only to ask for
their C.O.D. fee prepayment, if I wanted to do that.
BAD MISTAKE !